According to France Football, Pele has the same number of Ballon d’Or awards as Lionel Messi.
According to reports, Messi has been assured that he will win the Ballon d’Or for the eighth time during a ceremony in Paris on Monday. The projected victory comes after Argentina’s star pushed his country to their first World Cup victory since 1986 last December in Qatar.
But, for the time being, Messi has won seven Ballon d’Ors in three decades, two more than his nearest opponent Cristiano Ronaldo. However, France Football alleged in 2016 that someone else – Brazil superstar Pele – is also on seven awards.
Until 1995, only European players were eligible for the Ballon d’Or. France Football modified the rule and expanded the award to really honor the finest in the world. They retroactively awarded Pele seven stars for 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, and 1970.
They only did this when a non-European player deserved to win the tournament. In turn, Diego Maradona received two trophies, and Romario, Mario Kempes, and Garrincha joined Pele on the list of honorary winners.
Pele was even featured on the cover of France Football magazine with his seven trophies and the headline “Pele 7 Ballon d’Ors.”
Pele is recognized as one of the greatest players of all time, having scored 77 goals in 92 appearances for Brazil and winning three World Cups in 1958, 1962, and 1970.
Furthermore, Pele’s Santos was a showdown with Europe’s finest. Santos defeated Benfica and AC Milan in the Intercontinental Cups of 1962 and 1963, which pitted European champions against Copa Libertadores winners.
During those five games, Pele scored nine goals.